I made this scrapbook cake for my mom to help get her through her saddest birthday.

I thought of sharing  my best cake, but then I thought that even though this one isn’t my best one, it’s the best in terms of the story that it entails. So, I would like to share with you my album/scrapbook cake that I made for my mom’s birthday this past August.

We have been through rough times lately, but mostly her, since her brother recently died just two weeks before her birthday. The saddest part was that he was in the United States, and we are here in Argentina, and she didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. After all of this happened, her birthday still came, but she wasn’t up for it and she was extremely sad.

I am currently not working, but still, I always try to manage to do something special and memorable, telling myself that the universe is with me and will provide me with what I need. So, I took advantage of this awful and sad situation to try to make something with my own hands. I spent days thinking about what I could make her.

First, I thought of making something with a picture portrait, and a picture of her brother so that she could keep it on her night table. I decided I would have to go for a walk until I found some wood and things I could recycle to make something. I wasn’t really sure what, but I knew something would come up.

That’s when I had this wonderful idea of making her a cake. I love decorating cakes. It’s my passion. Even though my family aren’t the type of people who like sweets, I always end up making a cake anyway, because it’s my expression of love.

I was extremely excited about making my mom a special cake, but didn’t have any idea how I was going to go about it.

First of all, I needed a rectangular mold to bake the cake, which I didn’t have. I went crazy asking my friends from my decoration class if they had a rectangular mold. One of them answered me, telling me she did but the its size was huge. I responded with, “I really appreciate it, but it’s too big and honestly, I don’t have enough eggs. Plus there will only be four people eating it.”

Then, my other friend, offered me another one which was a bit smaller, and at the last minute I accepted it. One less thing thing to think about. My next problem was that I didn’t know what recipe to use, since I wanted one that would include milk and butter, and one that would adjust to the size of the rectangular mold that I had. I stayed up late at night on the computer looking for one, until I found one that I thought would work.

I wanted to include pictures in the cake like an album, so I looked for a place where they make edible pictures. I didn’t have much money saved, but at least I wanted to include a picture of her brother, her parents and her cousin… her most loved ones. Her parents had already passed away, and now her brother, so I thought to myself, “what could be better than to have all her most loved ones on her cake?”

This is where the universe guided me, and I somehow managed to find the place where I got to print four pictures for a fabulous price offer. It was around AR $50.00 all together. I was extremely happy that I would be able to include all the pictures that I wanted to include. Thank God I had enough money to buy the cover paste, some extra eggs so that I wouldn’t waste the house eggs (since we aren’t doing that well economically), and milk. I work just Saturdays, and that money was enough to buy these supplies to make her a cake.

I figured I would need to bake two square cakes so that at least it could look like an album or at least close to it.

Scrapbook Cake Instructions

  • I baked two square cakes which came out looking nothing like I was expecting. They both came out so thin, but it was already done so I had to work with that.
  • I let them dry for hours, and then I cut them in half and prepared a chocolate mousse that i used to fill it.
  • Then I covered the cake, and started adding details. The day before when I went to pick up the pictures, the lady told me that I had to glue them on with honey. That was perfect because that’s the only thing I had.
  • So, I glued the pictures to my album, and added extra details.
  • The first picture on the right hand corner I edited, since my mom has 3 siblings. I managed to put together the picture so that it would seem that all four were together in the picture. The next circle picture on the bottom, is her most loved cousin. The next page is her parents, and at the bottom is me (her daughter), my brothers, my dad, and her.

Truth is that I know I could have done better. I struggled on my way, but I know I put my everything into that cake. I stayed up all night till 8 in the morning the next day (which was her birthday), working on it. I had no words that could relieve her pain, just my most sincere love and an “I am here with you mom” (hug).

When she had noticed I was baking her a cake, the first thing she said was, “I don’t want any cake. I am not in any condition to celebrate anything” to which I responded, “I know. I am sorry but I already started, and can’t retrieve.”

I was extremely exhausted, so when I finally finished my cake, I went to sleep (with one eye opened, aware of when she would get up so that I could see her reaction when she saw the cake).

When she did, I woke up.

The day before, I had made her a birthday card, with a cardboard bag that I had found in the streets, and managed to recycle into something special. I knew she didn’t want for us to wish her a Happy Birthday, so what I wrote instead was:

Love, strength, life, a toy sword so that together we can fight all fears.

I included a drawing of a telephone showing her that I am available 24 hours a day in case she needs my support (I always will be there, etc.)

When I gave it to her she started crying unstoppably, and I said to her, “Mom, I made you this cake, but just realized at this moment it might have not been a good idea. You might take it the sad way or the good way, but I have already done it.

It was sitting on the table, so I told her close her eyes and then open them. When she did, and when she saw the cake, she again started crying nonstop because all her most loved ones where there with her in this tough moment. I knew in that moment that there was nothing else better that I could have done.

It might not be the most beautiful or perfect cake to me, but what really counts is that this was a memorable cake, and I know it meant a lot to my mom. She said she loved it, so I was like, “Yes you do really? Well then give it back, since you told me you didn’t want any cake.” That made her laugh.

As of today, she has saved the pictures and they on her night table..